By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Sept 23: Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan hopes the Federal government will increase the allocation for Sarawak in Budget 2023 to implement many more infrastructure and development projects to accelerate and spur economic growth in the State.
Sarawak, he emphasised, needs additional financing to implement such projects, including the building of roads, bridges, water and electricity supply and telecommunication necessary to stimulate the local economy and spur greater growth.
“We need to establish more industrial estates and business premises to support the small and medium size industries, more so in rural areas of Sarawak as they are among the sectors badly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We also need more funding to implement programmes that could stimulate the economy and improve people’s income that will uplift their wellbeing and livelihood to ultimately eradicate poverty in Sarawak,” he told a press conference after announcing the Sarawak Bumiputera Entrepreneurs Awards (AUBS) 2022 at his office in Wisma Sumber Alam here today.
Apart from that, Awang Tengah pointed out that more, stable funding would be needed for the education and healthcare sectors, particularly to upgrade old and dilapidated schools, clinics and hospitals.
“There are many schools in Sarawak still in dilapidated condition which require repairs or building of new facilities. In terms of healthcare, we want to upgrade hospitals and clinics as well as build new hospitals as many districts are still without such crucial facilities.
“With so many infrastructure and development left to be implemented, it is only right for Sarawak to get a bigger share of the allocation, we hope ,” he added.
Awang Tengah, who is also Second Minister for Natural Resources and Urban Development, also urged for the implementation mechanism of projects to be fine tuned.
“This is so that any project that has been approved for implementation, such as for next year, the allocation has been given so it must be implemented within the fixed period.
“Even though it may not be fully completed, it must be implemented. Otherwise, the allocation has been set aside but not spent. We don’t want that to happen. So the process needs to be reviewed,” he explained. — DayakDaily